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I wanted to buy a train ticket today from the Dutch railroad website.

It all worked fine, but when checking out, I was asked for my bank details and it seems that you can only pay if you have a Dutch bank account. I want to use my credit card. Is there any way how to do that?

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  • It might not apply to Dutch railways or your situation but sometimes it is possible to buy a railway ticket on a station even in different country. Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 21:09

5 Answers 5

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Outdated answer, it is now possible to buy tickets online with a creditcard.

It is indeed impossible to buy tickets online at the website of the Dutch railways. One exception is maybe the international subdivision HISpeed, but only if your journey involves crossing a border.

You could though buy your Dutch railway tickets online at the Belgian Railways. They use the same booking systems, and the online tickets have the same format. Only the Belgian railways do accept credit cards.

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    This has changed since this answer was posted years ago. Besides iDeal, you can now also use Visa, Mastercard and Amex
    – Berend
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 19:40
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Good news, it is now possible (since January 2018) to buy a train ticket with a creditcard on the website of NS.

Source: I'm Dutch.

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According to the online instructions (English or Dutch), you can only pay with iDeal, which is a system for online bank transactions in the Netherlands. From this, I conclude that it is not possible to pay with credit card (this is surprising to me) and thus not without a Dutch bank account.

Additional info: online tickets are not cheaper in the Netherlands. Ticket price is fixed for trips/distances, and does not depend on any other factor, such as time. Also, national trains in the Netherlands do not offer seat reservation (this is only for international trains). In other words, you will be fine by buying a ticket at a ticket machine upon arrival.

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  • Yes I know that I'll be fine, but even here in Switzerland, I always buy print-at-home tickets, since it is just more convenient imho. Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 14:12
  • @RoflcoptrException I can imagine that it is more convenient. You can consider the "OV chipkaart" so you don't need to buy separate tickets. I would only recommend that, if you are planning to travel multiple different trips.
    – Bernhard
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 18:57
  • @Bernhard that card is now required in a good part of the country, and paper tickets will no longer even get you to the platform. So you'd need to buy one anyway, and the anonymous ones AFAIK are only available from vending machines at railway stations.
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 23, 2013 at 8:53
  • Isn't their a fixed fee you need to pay when you buy a ticket at a NS-counter?
    – user141
    Commented Sep 23, 2013 at 9:16
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    @annoyed I know some that do, but it is not something I would suggest, since it still is highly unlikely to find one. Schiphol and Amsterdam might be the exception
    – user141
    Commented Sep 23, 2013 at 14:27
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From January 31st 2023, it is possible to to check in to NS trains using a contactless credit or debit card . Some other regional trains and buses work as well, but at this moment not all do. Check out the list here.

From the FAQ:

  • You don't have to do anything beforehand to travel with your debit card. So you don't have to sign up. Of course, you must have a valid debit card with which you can pay contactless.
  • ... Or with contactless credit cards from Mastercard or Visa. You can also use a foreign contactless debit or credit card from Maestro, V PAY, Mastercard or Visa. Of course, you can also use your smartphone or smartwatch if you have linked your debit or credit card.

There are some restrictions, e.g. you can can only check in once, so any traveling companion will need their own card. Furthermore, it's 2nd class only, and no discount cards can be used.

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Unfortunately, the Dutch rail system is not very user-friendly for foreigners.

In Rotterdam we tried to buy our tickets to Amsterdam via the "self-serve" machine outside the station. We found out that not only does it not take international credit cards, but it also does NOT accept Euro bills.

The total cost for 2 tickets was 28 Euros. Rather than letting me put in three 10 Euro bills (and giving me back 2 Euros for change) I had to go to a nearby casino, exchange my money for 1-Euro coins, and then put 28 coins into the machine to get our tickets. Completely ridiculous!

So, if you intend to buy rail tickets in the Netherlands, apparently the only way to do so is with a Dutch account or coins!

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